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06:53, 29 May 2017 Monday
10:27, 16 February 2017 Thursday

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"Rebuild Syria in exchange for Golan": Israeli minister

According to a report in Alaraby news, Israeli construction minister has submitted a plan to the Israeli Knesset purporting to rebuild Syria in exchange for recognition of Golan Heights

World Bulletin / News Desk

Israel's minister of construction has reportedly prepared a major strategic plan as part of a resolution to the crisis in Syria.

Yoav Galant's purported plan proposes a major US-led reconstruction programme for Syria costing billions of dollars - in return for international recognition of Israel's sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, and a negation of Iranian influence in the country.

While the plan presented by Galant was meant to be far-reaching, it seeks above all to stymie the Iranian "danger" apparently solidifying on Israel's north-western border, reports Yedioth Ahronoth, an Israeli national daily newspaper.

According to the report, the plan was presented to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and was unveiled to the Israeli cabinet on Sunday. 

According to the proposed plan, Galant argues Israel's best interests are served by preventing the consolidation of an Iran-Syria-Lebanon axis and the establishment of a Shia-dominated Damascus.

Galant's supposed plan further suggests the barring of the Iran-Lebanon overland "corridor" through Syria that would allow for arms transfers to Hizballah. International recognition for Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights is also necessary, in Galant's eyes, for a resolution to the Syrian crisis.

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Libya extremist group Ansar al-Sharia announces dissolution
Libya extremist group Ansar al-Sharia announces dissolution

The Libyan jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia, which is linked to Al-Qaeda and deemed a terrorist organisation by the UN and United States, announced its "dissolution" in a communique published online on Saturday. Washington accuses the group of being behind the September 11, 2012 attack on the US consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi in which ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed. Ansar al-Sharia is one of the jihadist groups that sprung up in Benghazi, Libya's second largest city, in the chaos following the death of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011. They overran the city in 2014. East Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar earlier this month launched an offensive to oust jihadist fighters from their two remaining strongholds in Benghazi. In its communique Ansar al-Sharia said it had been "weakened" by the fighting. The group lost its leader, Mohammed Azahawi, in clashes with Haftar's forces in Benghazi at the end of 2014. Most of its members then defected to the so-called Islamic State group. Ansar al-Sharia later joined the Revolutionary Shura Council of Benghazi, a local alliance of Islamist militias. At its zenith, Ansar al-Sharia was present in Benghazi and Derna in eastern Syria, with offshoots in Sirte and Sabratha, western Libya. The organisation took over barracks and other sites abandoned by the ousted Kadhafi forces and transformed them into training grounds for hundreds of jihadists seeking to head to Iraq or Syria.